Lions Club Assistive Technology Article

October 22, 2017

Peter Crumley of the Beaufort Lions Club, has written an excellent document –

Title: Technology to Aid the Visually Impaired to Achieve an Independent Lifestyle in the 21st Century.

This document lays the foundation for how technology is now able to give the blind & visually impaired an opportunity for new freedom never experienced before.

Please go to their online article. It is well worth reading. Both  Lauren Tappan & John Logan endorse it.


Apple Seeing AI App

October 22, 2017

This is a brief comment about the use of assisted tech. devices from a low vision user. It’s clear to me that one size does not fit all when looking for an assisted technology device. It is very much of an individual process and that is why I think that working with a low vision occupational therapist is extremely helpful in making this decision. There’s so many factors that need to be taken into consideration. The Low Vision Occupational therapist has more resources available. My brief observation is that many of the eye wear devices assist with reading, magnification, face recognition, in various ways.

I am very fortunate to be able to purchase and begin to use and apple iPhone 6S Plus. There is a learning curve to this process and an initial expense, but I have found that the Free Seeing AI App has been worth the effort.

Seeing AI is a free app that narrates the world around you. Designed for the blind and low vision community, this ongoing research project harnesses the power of AI to open up the visual world and describe nearby people, text, and objects.

You can download this free app to the apple iPhone and it works best with the 6S Plus. As soon as this app is downloaded it immediately functions as a reader of short text, documents, and product recognition, as well as face recognition. You’re able to point the app at a product code and it immediately will read you the name of the product and can give you more detail of the description of the product. This is able in a grocery store or at home looking for various products in your cabinet. This app can read the dials on your microwave, your washer dryer, elevator buttons, etc. There is a data plan involved with this phone, which will add to additional expenses. But again, I think it is worth it considering how quick and easy this app functions as a reader.

Again, all of these products are helpful in maintaining independence in your home and out in the world.

Lauren Tappan

Durham Community Low Vision Center

October 19, 2017

Community Low Vision Center
New To Durham!

Join us for an Open House
to celebrate the opening of our
Community Low Vision Center.

Thursday, October 26, 2017 from 5:30-7:30 pm
Community Low Vision Center
Erwin Terrace
2816 Erwin Road, Suite 201
Durham, NC 27705

light hors d’oeurves served with beer & wine

Helping preserve & create independent
lifestyles for persons with all levels of low vision.

RSVP to or
Barbara Soderlund at 336-245-5691

New Drug Slows Dry Macular Degeneration

October 14, 2017

An international team of researchers has found a way to slow the progression of an advanced form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of irreversible, severe vision loss in Western countries.

Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing a platform of novel therapeutic compounds for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, developed a new compound called the complement factor 3 (C3) inhibitor APL-2 for treating patients with dry AMD.

The Phase II FILLY trial of APL-2 was sponsored by Apellis Pharmaceuticals and included 246 patients across 40 testing sites, in the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

“These results are very exciting for all people afflicted with dry AMD,” said team member Dr. David Boyer, of Retina-Vitreous Associates Medical Group.

“It is currently an untreatable condition, and the reduction of the progression of atrophy in this trial offers new hope for vision maintenance for our patients.”

for more info:


Duke Eye Center Low-Vision Demo

October 14, 2017

This is a quick reminder that we will have an updated assistive technology demonstration at the Duke Eye Center Low-Vision Clinic on Friday, October 20th at 3:30.

As you walk in to the door to the Duke Eye Center from the parking lot, take the first door to the left to get to the low-vision clinic. Ask for Fay Tripp and she will take you to the conference room where the demonstration will be held.

I should also mention that the new Community Low Vision Center is located 3 blocks from the Duke Eye Center. If you have time, it would be nice for you to visit there, while you’re in the area.

Looking forward to seeing you all there. My cell phone is 919-923-6080, you can contact me if you have questions.

We will need an RSVP if you plan to come to the October 20th 3:30 AT demonstration at Duke Eye Center. If you plan to come please contact There will be limited space.

Lauren Tappan

New Low Vision Center

October 5, 2017

There is a new Community Low Vision Center located about 3 blocks from the Duke eye Center.

Their address is 2817 Erwin Road, Durham, NC.  Contact Lynn Shields at 919-973-0763, They are planning a big Open House on Oct 26, Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.

Besides a nice display of low vision AT equipment, they will soon have the Aira glasses to demonstrate.

The space is available for classes and other LV events.

Contact Lynn to RSVP to attend the Open House.

Lauren Tappan

AMD Project in EU

September 30, 2017

5-year project aims to reduce the disease burden of age-related macular degeneration in Europe and worldwide.

A new European-wide project involving researchers from City, University of London aims to develop new tests and therapies for age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The MACUSTAR project, which involves several European universities, medical-technology and pharmaceutical companies, will develop these clinical tests and therapeutic options over the course of the 5-year project to help reduce the disease burden of AMD in Europe and worldwide. The project is funded with 16 million euros and is being led by the University of Bonn, Germany.

MACUSTAR is the first exclusively eye disease-focused project approved by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), Europe’s largest public-private initiative aiming to speed up the development of better and safer medicines for patients.

Central to MACUSTAR is the development of a series of tests for worsening of AMD using state of the art imaging techniques, vision testing and patient reported outcome measures. The main idea is to test these novel approaches to see if subtle changes in AMD can be accurately detected over time. If this is achieved then it will lead to more efficient clinical trials for new treatments for AMD and accelerate drug development. The main costs for the MACUSTAR project are for a huge observational clinical study to be conducted in more than 700 AMD patients from 20 clinical sites across Europe.

For more info: